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Howdy. We've moved from Cayce, but St. Elizabeth of South Rose Hill or Lizette de Waccamaw de Sud just don't do it for me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Birthday Celebration and Lesson

My step-father's 75th birthday was this past Sunday.

In what is a weird co-incidence, my father, "Pops" best friend from college, was also born on February 10. Dad would have been 76. In all the planning for the 75th bday celebration, I forgot on Sunday to wear the lovely locket that Izzy made for me with a couple of pics of Daddy (from his twenties and his 70's). I'm making up for that the rest of this week.

Mom's birthday was Saturday. With birthdays on 2/9 and 2/10, their ZIP code is another weird coincidence (29210.)

Back to Pops: My mother wrote to members of his family, members of churches where he had pastored and places where he had served as a chaplain. She asked them to send special 75th bday greetings which would be placed into a birthday scrapbook. Lots and lots of people responding, sending their greetings, as directed, to my sister's (S2) home. Mom would go over and work on the scrapbook from time to time.

Here's what everyone forgot, and I post this as something to consider should you ever plan such a sweet gesture: All those people sent greetings to S2's house--and no one sent anything to Mom and Pops' house. Turns out, for over two weeks, cards had been arriving for Mom. Lots of cards with sweet messages from friends and family. Pops went out every day to check the mail, and kept wondering where his mail was. He told us later that he wanted to say something, but, as he said, "how could [he] complain to [his] new wife about his own children?" His siblings, who live close by? Had everyone really forgotten him? You'd think he'd get something for such an important birthday.

Mom realized, finally, that something might be amiss when she saw him positively slouch and trudge back from the mailbox on Saturday. At that point, they were headed off to the Zoo, then to dinner. She decided she might as well wait another day to address the issue with him.

There were, as expected, lots of tears when, with 40 or so people there for lunch (he'd only thought a few were coming for cake and ice cream), he received his scrapbook. Tears of joy, tears of relief, tears that he'd held in over the past week.

So what did we learn? Scrapbooks are a great idea. Maybe get a few folks so mail in an extra card -- little old guys look forward to their birthdays as much as the little kids do.

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